Cover Photo by Dana DeVolk on Unsplash
November is here, and so is the time when we embark on our crossing and prepare for the Caribbean Season. As this journey can take up to 3 weeks and with the added stress of potential quarantine on the other side, it’s challenging to know how to care for and store your fresh produce to make it last the long trip.
We have teamed up with Monaco-based food provisioners Maison Del Gusto to tackle food waste’s prevalent problem. They are here to provide us with their top 3 tips on how to make your fresh produce last the crossing. And, if you make it to the end of this read, they have also given us their top 3 most popular items you should stock up on before you leave!
With thanks to Maison Del Gusto, use these tips to learn How to Make your Fresh Produce Last the Crossing:
Tip 1. Use a Provisioner:
The difference in quality and service when using a provisioner compared to stocking up at supermarkets is profound. Provisioners always go the extra mile, and it does not go unnoticed.
For instance, Maison Del Gusto orders and prepares all their food for you on demand. Meaning you are always guaranteed to get the freshest produce possible. Provisioners don’t just go to supermarkets or local markets to get their produce; they go straight to the producer. This means shorter transport times, fewer people handling, less sunlight exposure and controlled temperatures from plant to port.
A provisioner will always offer a more personalised experience. At Maison Del Gusto, they select the products with extreme care for the specific client, ensuring you get exactly what you ordered. You will know where the produce has come from and that it is of the best quality possible. And naturally, the best and freshest produce will last the longest!
Tip 2. Consider the Conditions:
When considering the conditions of fresh produce, it is essential to think about the big three:
In terms of temperature, it is essential to recognise the optimum temperature produce should be stored. A lot of produce keeps well in the refrigerator, while some items like potatoes, onions, and garlic are best left at cool room temperatures. It is essential to maintain this temperature during the crossing. If temperatures fluctuate, this can have a negative effect on the longevity of the produce.
Ethylene is a gas that some fruits and vegetables release such as, apples and bananas. It causes ripening and eventual decay of certain types of produce that are ethylene-sensitive. Therefore, it is essential to know which fruits and vegetables emit ethylene and which are ethylene sensitive. Whether or not you choose to refrigerate, keep ethylene-sensitive fruits and veggies separate from the gas-emitting ones when organising your refrigerator. This is also something all good provisioners will consider when transporting your goods.
Produce that keeps best at room temperature needs air circulation. Plastic bags equal premature spoilage. They’ll last longer if you take them out and let them breathe. Most refrigerated produce stays fresh longer when sealed, whether in zip-top plastic bags, reusable silicone pouches, or containers with tight-fitting lids. These containers hold in moisture, preventing produce from dehydrating, and they help protect sensitive produce from the effects of ethylene gas. You can use produce bags from the grocery store, too.
Tip 3. Become Storage Savvy:
After we consider the conditions, we can use this information to store accordingly. Maison Del Gusto (MDG) have given us some top tips on how to keep some of the most commonly ordered fruit and veg:
Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes:
- Don’t refrigerate.
- Store in a cool, dark place with relatively high humidity.
- Allow air circulation.
- Keep separate from onions, bananas, and other ethylene-producing items.
Potatoes will keep for a few weeks when stored in a cool, dark place such as an air-conditioned dry-store, away from large appliances, which generate heat. MDG comments.:
“When kept a room temperatures, potatoes can sprout and decay. When refrigerated, they convert starch into sugar and can brown quickly and scorch when fried.”
Onions and Garlic
- Don’t refrigerate.
- Store in a cool, dark place with low humidity.
- Allow some air circulation.
- Keep separate from potatoes.
Common onions and garlic, members of the allium family, are easy to keep fresh if you keep them away from moisture, making them spoil faster.
- Refrigerate unwashed.
- Seal in zip-top plastic bags.
By the end of a crossing, we are all craving crispy leaf salad. Although we can’t guarantee, this will make them last the entire three weeks. With the proper storage, you might just be eating salad for a little longer. When ordering, look for leaves that will last longer. More hardy lettuce substitutes include curly endive, kale, and watercress. Excess moisture causes leafy greens to rot faster in the fridge. Because of this, we recommend keeping these vegetables unwashed until you’re’ ready to use them.
Apples and Pears
- Refrigerate in a plastic bag.
- Ideally, use a drawer that you’ve designated for non-ethylene-sensitive fruit.
Apples prefer the cold; after harvesting, producers keep them at near-freezing temperatures to maintain their crispness. If you don’t have a designated draw, we suggest keeping them in a plastic bag in that one super-cold corner of the refrigerator.
We hope these tips can help make your fresh produce last the crossing before you can restock again!
Don’t forget you can’t get everything over in the Caribbean! Here are three products that Maison Del Gusto recommend you stock up on before you leave:
- Veal Fassona Carpaccio
- San Remo Prawns
- Minuts 8 Vinegar
Stock up on these, and you’ll have some versatile luxuries you can use for many dishes while in the Caribbean.
For more tips and recommendations, be sure to get in touch with Maison Del Gusto. As Monaco’s premiere purveyor of gourmet food, Maison del Gusto Fine Food and Wine Provisioning provide clients with world-class products when and where they need them. They’re dedicated to satisfying the most discernible tastes in the timeliest manner. Thanks to a fully stocked showroom, They’re able to offer next day delivery.
Give their Monaco office a call using this number: 00377 97 70 87 11
Or, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope this season is a success for you all!
Have a read of Maison Del Gusto’s previous article Redefining the Superyacht Provisioner.